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Images: island*atelier
Chan Luu bracelets and DVF wedges.

Simple but elegant aluminium and ash stool by Alexandre Reignier.

As a long-time fan of Scandinavian design, I really like the simple, beautiful graphics and colours used on PaaPii Design's products.
Image: Little Bean

I love easy and beautiful clothes for children in natural fabrics, so this unique bow-front dress really caught my eye. Little Bean is a kid's boutique in Dallas, Texas, which stocks Christine Visneau's eponymous clothing line as well as accessories, gifts and art from independent designers.  

More Little Bean designs after the jump.

For someone with as serious a bag fetish as I have, I cannot believe these guys have flown under my radar until now.  WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, a Canadian brand founded in 2006 by twin brothers Dexter and Byron Peart, offers premium leather goods manufactured in Italy.  

WANT uses leather that is treated in a manner designed to keep it as natural as possible and only 100% organic cotton.  Every good design house must have its distinguishing feature and WANT's is subtle: a signature gold and silver zipper which represents unity through contrast.

Inspired by Mid-Century architecture and furniture, the bags have a timeless quality but are designed to meet the needs of modern life with laptop bags and smartphone cases being among the items offered.  See more WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie after the jump.

Image: Gray Label
As a huge fan of neutral and organic children's clothes, Gray Label which produces organic apparel for the little minimalist is right up my alley.   The Amsterdam-based label designed by Emily Gray, consists of a year-round line of quality basics that are intended to be contemporary yet timeless.  New designs are  added continuously encouraging one to return again and again. 

Image: Souve
I like this line of ironic cotton canvas bags from Souve.  Unfortunately they're only available in Germany and not online (yet).

Super bright colours and fun graphics are the hallmark of Boys&Girls which produce fun, often unisex clothes for children.  Designed for urban living and created with care, Boys&Girls is available here.

On May 7, Orange Bay Company (about which I previously wrote here) launched its line of vintage and secondhand women's and children's clothes and shoes.  Chosen with as much care as the furniture on sale, Orange Bay now offers gently worn items from such diverse lines as Pucci, Ralph Lauren and the Gap.

Mini Boden is another of my favourite children's clothes companies. Offered out of the UK, although the clothes are now being sold in the US in department stores like Nordstrom, Mini Boden offers a wide-range of clothing, swimwear and accessories (including shoes) in tasteful designs and of high quality.   

More Mini Boden after the jump.
Oooh!  Pretty bottle!

But I don't know whether I should be offended or not as in a cynical move to increase their market share, it appears that the makers of Carlsberg beer have decided to revamp their bottle's image to appeal to women.  According to a spokesperson, women "want their drinks to match their style" and may "reject a beer if the design does not appeal to them".  I'm not sure we are quite that superficial, but judging from my initial reaction, they may be on to something.
Image: Urban Casita
These pictures from Urban Casita are seriously making me consider adding a Diana camera to my stable.  Diana + cameras are available from Urban Outfitters here.
Sometimes I think the toy department at IKEA is underrated and doesn't get the recognition it deserves for producing simple, well-made often (for obvious reasons) wooden toys at a really reasonable price.  We are the proud owners of a wooden IKEA train set which has had a lot of use over the years and is still in great working order today. I also like this basket of soft vegetables which is perfect for a play kitchen or pretend shop.  It's beautiful and simple and you really can't go wrong with it. Have a look at some other kids' toys from IKEA after the jump.

A few weeks ago I had the dubious distinction of watching my two week old iPad 2 fall to the floor and seeing the screen crack. I don't want to point any fingers, but let's just say I will not be purchasing a "smart" cover with its easily detachable magnetic hinge from Apple any time soon.

Since the replacement arrived, I've been looking for a rubberised cover to improve my grip on the iPad as well as a padded case to protect it in the bottom of my bag should I be brave enough to take it out.  Quite a few designers are making accessories for Apple products now, including the iPad, and two of my favourites are pictured above.  It's not clear whether they are suitable for the iPad 2, but the silicone cover from Marc by Marc Jacobs and the padded laptop case designed by Jonathan Adler just might be the things I need.
Image: Tea Collection
If I were only allowed to dress my daughter in clothes from one company, that company would definitely be Tea Collection. Tea Collection covers the gamut of clothing requirements from casual to special occasion with interesting designs drawn from global inspirations.  Each season focuses on a different part of the world and the colours and styles are drawn from that culture.  Apart from the global outlook which I admire, Tea Collection's clothes are extremely well made, comfortable and durable: they stand up to numerous washings and are some of the clothes which I have had the privilege of handing down once my daughter has outgrown them rather than having to throw them away as often is the case with other less well-made brands. 

I usually buy Tea Collection clothes online and their service is excellent, delivery prompt and sizing accurate.  In terms of design, quality, overall ease of purchase and pricing, I'd have to say Tea Collection is my number one choice for children's clothes.

More of my favourite designs from Summer 2011 after the jump.

Image: island*atelier
As I love interesting children's clothes, I've been meaning to feature some of my favourite kids' clothes designers for a while.  Initially I had intended to dedicate an entire week to the feature, but that proved difficult as I kept wanting to write about other things and I thought such a specific topic might not be of interest to everyone.  Instead, I have come up with a bit of a compromise and will include the posts on the children's clothes designers along with the regular posts this week.


Images: J .Crew
We ended the week with one J.Crew collaboration and have decided to start the week with another. This time, to mark its collaboration with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, J.Crew has asked each recipient of the prize to create a capsule wardrobe designed exclusively for it which will be available in select stores and online.  For the month of May, they are highlighting Prabal Gurung's limited-edition collection for J.Crew as well as that of menswear designer Billy Reid.  I love the lines of Gurung's collection, in particular the the Exploding Bow Blouse and the Bow-Dacious white Denim suit.

Image: J.Crew
 As a lover all things nautical, this immediately caught my eye.  J.Crew is offering a limited line of t-shirts by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo (founder of cult label Comme des Garçons) and New York based graphic artist Filip Pagowski. The clothes all feature the duo's signature heart logo and are proving to be extremely popular: the grey t-shirt pictured after the jump has already sold out.  

The line is available in select stores and online.  

Taboo is a line of furniture designed and produced by Bibi Seck.  Made in Senegal, the design of the furniture relies heavily on the cultural practices and daily habits of West Africans who traditionally sit on stools or on the floor around low tables to eat.  The pieces are made from 75% recycled garbage bags and plastic bottles and are produced in a wide array of colours which are dependant upon the colour of the recycled plastic content used in their manufacture.  The pieces are weather-resistant and can be used indoors or out.

More photos of Taboo in production after the jump.

Image: H&M
Swedish fashion giant H&M will open its first stand-alone concession store within London department store Selfridges in August of this year. The move will be a first for the retailer.  The photos above and after the jump are from H&M's fall 2011 lookbook featuring Karlie Kloss.

Image: Steffi Min
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.  Peg light by Steffi Min clips instead of screws in.
Image: Leslie Williamson/Dwell
I am pretty conservative when it comes to choosing window treatments and tend to gravitate toward plain fabrics, but for some reason I really love the patterns on these drapes (above and after the jump) which are hanging in Eero Saarinen’s Miller House and which were designed by Alexander Girard with whom they often collaborated in 1963.

Miller House opens to the public this May for the first time.  More drapes after the jump.

The calabash tree was one of the more iconic ones when we were growing up and was rife with significance and meaning culturally.  The bowl-like shape and water-proof properties of its fruit was often put to much practical use by local craftsman fashioning bowls, eating utensils and even bags out of the fruit of the tree.  It should be no surprise then, that I love the organic shape of the Calabash pendant lamp by Komplot Design for Lightyears.  The design marries the natural and industrial beautifully.

More examples of the Calabash pendant lamp in different finishes after the jump.

Perhaps it's a sign of the dire economic times we find ourselves in, but it seems that everywhere I turn, I am confronted with yet another Missoni collaboration.   First, Havaianas, who's recent collaboration with menswear designer Michael Bastian was mentioned here, is this month launching ultra-bright, instantly recognisable Missoni for Havaianas flip-flops and espadrilles (pictures after the jump) in limited numbers.  Each pair will come packaged in a Missoni crocheted shoe bag in the colours of the Italian and Brazilian flags.

Missoni have also launched a collaboration with Bugaboo to produce the Chameleon and the Bee models of stroller in its distinctive zig-zag and block print patterns (pictures also after the jump).   The Bugaboo + Missoni special collection will be available in select stores from July of this year.  Finally, Missoni was recently named as the next brand to partner with Target on a line which will debut on September 13, 2011. The Missoni for Target collection will include over 400 pieces of men's, women's and children's clothing, as well as home decor. 

I understand the premise of these collaborations which is intended to increase a fashion house's customer base and thereby hopefully increasing profits, but I think brands have to be careful not to over-extend themselves thereby losing their original target market (See: Calvin Klein or Burberry both of which have made valiant efforts to rescue their images).  By partnering with other industry leaders, hopefully fashion houses which choose to go this route can avoid this trap.

See pictures of the Missoni for Havaianas and the Bugaboo + Missoni special collection after the jump.

12th Street apartment modern dining room

A couple of months ago I wrote here about my search for a new kitchen table.  At the time I was obsessed with getting a Saarenen-style Tulip table which I believed was the perfect size and style for the room.  I really do like the shape and style of the table and so wanted to highlight its versatility. You can see from the pictures above and after the jump, how easily the Tulip adapts to many different types of room. It is easily one of the most versatile pieces of furniture, which must definitely account for its popularity and longevity.

More examples of the Tulip after the jump.
Chance, that effortlessly chic clothing store I wrote about here, opened a pop-up shop this week in New York's Soho.  Heavy on the nautical stripes I love, it's a great opportunity to see and purchase the items, especially as their e-commerce site is still having some teething problems.

The Chance pop-up is open until June.  More after the jump.

Image: Areaware
Not sure what it is about these baskets but they creep me out.

Designed to be an environmentally-friendly measure to counteract mountains of plastic waste we generate, the bins are made from reclaimed plastic and sustainably harvested rattan.  Produced in the Philippines under fair trade conditions, the containers are available from Areaware.

More designs after the jump.

Image: Brain Candy Toys
Love these cerebral advertisements for independent toy store Brain Candy Toys.  See if you can figure out the different tales.  More posters after the jump. 

Image: IKEA
I purchased several of these PS Vågö chairs in black (together with the footstool) back in 2002 when they were first introduced.  Made from molded plastic which is designed to be colour-resistant, I have always loved the juxtaposition of the sleek, modern lines of the chair against the unruliness of nature (though the chair may also be used indoors).  After a few years I noticed they were no longer available, and apparently production was stopped, but I would still see the chair from time to time in various design publications.  I still have the black versions after all this time, but I am happy to report that as of this year, IKEA is once again producing the PS Vågö for sale minus the footstool and, in addition to black and white, this new lime green colour has been added.

The design has won a Red Dot Design award. It's inexpensive and stackable a good example of how form and function can come together to create something beautiful but accessible to all.

I'll have one of each please.

Image: ReForm School
Is this woodblock poster by Anthony Burrill. It keeps turning up everywhere.
I saw these chairs featured in a short film on Dwell.com a few weeks ago and thought they were really innovative.  Based on an origami-like design, the chairs are lightweight and less than an inch thick when folded.  They are designed to be highly portable but stable when opened.  Made from plastic composites, they can be used both indoors and outdoors and cushions can be added for additional comfort.

The chairs come in a spectrum of colours to suit all tastes and decor.  Definitely a step up on your typical folding chair.

The film by Dwell can be seen after the jump.

Image: Plamp
I always love when form and function work seamlessly together.  In this case, the Plamp lamp (shame about the name) where the packaging is the finished product.  That the lamp is made of cardboard is another plus.

Assembly is quick and easy; the user merely opens the shade, inserts a bulb and plugs it in.  Once opened, the lamp reveals subtle, abstract patterns which help to filter and diffuse the light.

More shots of the Plamp including close-ups after the jump.

Images: Marlon Darbeau
I'm loving this Peera Bench designed by Marlon Darbeau of Abovegroup, a design firm in Trinidad and Tobago, in collaboration with Sean Leonard.  Made from Aluminum and appamat wood and intended to be a multi-use piece, the Peera Bench can be used as a bench, a basket or toolbox.